These graduates, now with bachelor’s degrees across various fields, were celebrated at a special event held on September 22, 2023.
The gathering not only marked their transition into the workforce but also introduced them to potential investors who recognized their exceptional academic achievements.
These 211 young women represent the third cohort of scholarship recipients under the partnership between FAWE Rwanda and the Mastercard Foundation. They have received continuous support, including capacity development and skill enhancement programs.
Antonia Mutoro, the National Coordinator of FAWE Rwanda, expressed her confidence in the graduates as she addressed potential employers, saying, "I tell the employers here that these young women you see before you are exceptional workers. If you seek to transform your workplaces with excellence and best practices, look no further."
Gatabazi Pascal, the Chief Technical Advisor in the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC), highlighted that these young women were not only equipped with knowledge but also empowered to demonstrate their capabilities.
Martha Muhwezi, the Executive Director of FAWE Africa, commended FAWE Rwanda as the best among all FAWE chapters. She also acknowledged the pivotal role played by the Rwandan Government and the Ministry of Education in fostering an environment conducive to FAWE Rwanda’s success. She extended her gratitude for the continuous and unwavering support that has enabled FAWE Rwanda to make significant contributions to the cause of female education.
Several of these graduates, who completed their studies in 2022, expressed their gratitude toward FAWE and the Mastercard Foundation for providing them with the opportunity to pursue their dreams, acquire valuable skills, and contribute not only to Rwanda’s development but also to the global community.
FAWE Scholarship Program
In 2013, FAWE Rwanda, in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, initiated its scholarship program, initially assisting 1,200 girls in secondary schools. A decade later, 838 participants in the program have successfully graduated in various disciplines, including science, mathematics, and technology, from UR and INES Ruhengeri.
Following their bachelor’s degrees, over 432 of these graduates secured employment, while others pursued further studies in Rwanda and abroad.
Linah Divine Icyezumutima is one such graduate who benefited from FAWE Rwanda’s sponsorship. She completed her engineering courses at INES Ruhengeri.
Icyezumutima shared her personal journey, revealing that she lost her mother during her secondary school years, which made life challenging for her and her younger siblings, who were being raised by their grandmother with limited means.
She extended her heartfelt thanks to FAWE Rwanda for breathing new hope into the lives of girls who had begun to lose faith in their futures. She recounted her own experience, saying, "My mother passed away when I was in my third year of secondary school. I was studying at FAWE, and continuing my education would have been impossible. However, I was fortunate enough to receive this scholarship, and I am now gainfully employed."
Vestine Mukamwezi, a mother of five who has been single-handedly raising her children since 2000 due to limited resources, also expressed her gratitude. She recounted how FAWE provided a scholarship to her daughter, Divine Igihozo, who has since become a doctor and is now contributing to transforming the lives of her siblings.
Mukamwezi said, "FAWE Rwanda helped her become a brilliant young woman who is now a doctor. I pray for her to excel and serve as an exemplary physician."
The impact of FAWE and the Mastercard Foundation’s partnership on these young women’s lives is evident in their academic achievements and their potential to make substantial contributions to the workforce and society at large.